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09:01 PM on 02/27/2011
Having an affair is a selfish act! When you get married you are vowing to be faithful not sleeping around. I wonder how he would feel if his wife had an affair...
08:42 PM on 02/27/2011
Marriage involves a promise between two people.
Adultery is the breaking of that promise.
Adultery is an act of domination by subterfuge.
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Box500
Space can be recovered. Time, never.
01:33 PM on 03/01/2011
Marriage is an act of domination
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logic123
God Didn't Make Man; Man Made Gods.
02:52 PM on 03/01/2011
100% Agreed!!! When I see people wearing a wedding ring, I feel like they've been branded.
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03:47 PM on 03/01/2011
Wow. That's a sad opinion.
07:09 PM on 02/27/2011
I am married, and maybe I view this issue as too simple. Some have posted here and made reference to it though, so maybe not. I am faithful to my wife because I promised her I would be. I don't blame those with open marriages, or some kind of arrangement, but that is not the situation for me. I look down on someone who cheats outside of the aforementioned agreements because I view them as someone who is unable to keep their word, not because they have tarnished married life. I would have similar disdain for someone who cheats on their taxes or dodges their share of a bill. It is just not a show of good character.
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MarcEdward
likes all cats more than most people
09:44 AM on 02/28/2011
To sum it up, liars suck.
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JPMac
06:39 PM on 02/27/2011
The Clintons as a mondern example of marriage this is American and I applaud this guy for becoming a millionaire with this idea but please!!!

I can't wait to see what this guy says when some guy is laying pipe with his wife...If he'll be singing the same tune!!!
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04:49 PM on 02/27/2011
Let's consider instead that the notion that marriage is one single thing might be a "one size fits none" proposition.

The insistence on only one valid adult intimate relationship with a single monolithic definition would strike me as suspicious even it weren't so demonstrably a disastrous failure. It's every bit as destructive, oppressive, and limiting, as the monotheism it derives from.

Marriage lies in ruins because of its over 50% failure to meet the physical, social, emotional, and economic needs of its adherents, but seldom do we debate the institution itself. The very notion of an "affair" carries an enormous burden of unexamined, implicit assumptions, and with a typical American lack of subtly and wisdom, we examine none of them.

One of the saddest things about being a gay man is that rather than the culture benefitting from my people's long history of celebrating creative, adaptable, and various relationships, we're are desperate to don the same straitjacket the macroculture is wearing. LGTBQ people need conventional marriage the way women need foot binding, and in our lack of self respect, we pursue assimilation at any cost, never pausing to consider just how terrible that cost might be.

But we all love to blame ourselves for our failure to live up to our institutions, when in fact our institutions are nothing but abstractions. We, however, are living beings who should learn to adapt such institutions when they no longer meet our needs. Of course, that would take both courage and imagination.
05:24 PM on 02/27/2011
Please speak for yourself. As another gay man, I can say that I think a move toward marriage or at least long-term relationships as the norm for gay men would be nothing but healthy. I have watched hook up websites and "open relationships" leave many of my friends feeling empty and in search of something more. It's also an incredibly dangerous culture health-wise. I for one am glad that we are moving to a place where marriage will soon be open to us and maybe monogamous gay relationships will become more common.
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06:33 PM on 02/27/2011
One two three...

1. I'm speaking for myself to the same degree you are.

2. A survey based on watching "hook up websites" is representative of nothing but hookup websites, and your assumption that I was speaking out against monogamy in favor of irresponsible sexuality is as telling as it is inaccurate.

3. You don't address my actual point: that in pursuing marriage, LTGBQ people are both within their rights and attempting to book passage on a ship that has already drowned more than half its passengers.

And, I guess, four... LOL

You're embracing stereotypes, speaking in clich├ęs, and smugly accepting the largely unexamined premise that Judeo Christian marriage is the evolutionary pinnacle of human relationships, even as the majority of its children are being reared by minimum wage slaves as more than half their parents part company.

You don't seem so much to admire the institution, as demonize the possibility of any change or improvement of it.
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MarcEdward
likes all cats more than most people
09:47 AM on 02/28/2011
How can you have a serious relationship with anybody that you're willing to lie to?
Either have an open relationship or don't, but cheating involves lying, and I don't think anybody on this earth wants to have a partner who will lie to them.
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12:21 PM on 02/28/2011
Why are you addressing these remarks to this comment, which doesn't mention open relationships, monogamy, or lying? Your focus on dishonesty and betrayal seem obsessive in this context.

But since you've directed your question at me... I know of no human relationships, serious or otherwise, where people don't lie to each other. Ironically, the absolutism, all or nothing thinking, and insistence on seeing things in terms of opposed dichotomies you've just demonstrated is a big part of the problem. The child-like desire to live in a grossly simplified moral universe is responsible for many of the lies we tell ourselves, and others.

Marriage, for example, is - like religion - one of those areas of experience where even intelligent people hear "one size fits all" and don't roll their eyes and snort with derision.
03:49 PM on 02/27/2011
Whatever relationship style you can think of I've seen it in therapy (http://www.ourcollectivementalhealth.org) - but the issue is honesty, and whether people are even capable of being honest in a society that says heterosexual marriages of one woman to one man is the ideal state of being.

There's nothing wrong with being single. There's nothing wrong with being in a relationship opf which you and your consensual partner decide the terms- not a church or a government. But why just fall into the brainwashing of "Oh- I'm of an age- it's time to 'settle down and get married'", when it may be the thing that actually ruins your relationship, or your sex life, or your family.

Get married and design the relationship you want. If you agree that you won't have sex with anyone else, then don't have sex with anyone else until you change the agreement together. If you can't change the agreement together without fear of lawsuits, fights, violence, etc- then what kind of love relationship do you have to begin with? Probably better to get a divorce.

If you think you might want to have sex with other people, then start laying down a foundation of trust from the beginning of your relationship. Use condoms. Get tested. Strengthen those emotional bonds with your partner. Then you'd be at a much better place to change it up sexually than just lying and using a trashy website.

See a couples therapist (or in New York, see us!)
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DRaymond
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03:42 PM on 02/27/2011
Infidelity is never good for a relationship. Forgiveness almost always is. Particularly as Americans we are too quick to make a list of unforgivable things because we prize toughness and inflexibility.
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02:51 PM on 02/27/2011
"People who want to have an affair are made out to be sociopaths with character flaws. If you cheated, you must be bad, and therefore can't run a country, state or corporation. Why is that the litmus test?"

Perhaps because when you mary someone (at least for a vast majority of society) you take a vow committing yourself to that person. It's makes one a liar of the very worst sort.

Now you want an open marriage? That's a completely different topic. You agree to the arrangment with your spouse. But an affair is downright betrayal to the people who are supposed to be most important in your life. And if you can be honest with them, how can you be honest with the people who's country you run, or who's company you run? THAT'S why it is a litmus test.
01:58 PM on 02/27/2011
"NB: Some want to try a different ethnicity"... Because women are just like flavors of ice cream!
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Hockey2333
12:28 PM on 02/27/2011
i've never understood why having more than one sexual partner is such a taboo.
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RedWhiteandBlueState
Pursuing Happiness Daily.
12:53 PM on 02/27/2011
It's not at all. Unless you're married or in high school.
01:04 PM on 02/27/2011
Most people are just brought up to think 'monogamy'. I for one don't see a problem with seeing or being with more than one girl at a time, but I personally think that once you're in an exclusive relationship (which doesn't necessarily have to happen) then you should stay exclusive. But then, it's also my philosophy to date someone for at least two months or so before even considering an exclusive relationship...

Of course, if you are both cool with it, there's also nothing wrong with having an open relationship, or with having multiple relationships.

One thing I do believe is in being honest and upfront. Not going behind their back to do something you want but that you know would devastate them. If you decide you want to have a more open relationship, be upfront about it. If they aren't okay with it, then respect them, let them know how you feel, and leave.

Better yet, know what you want beforehand, and be upfront about it before even getting together in a relationship in the first place.
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Quinxy von Besiex
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11:49 AM on 02/27/2011
Using his logic one could justify almost anything... I wish I could live with myself having Noel Biderman's flexible morality, I'm sure it's a very freeing experience.
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02:53 PM on 02/27/2011
Indeed...was thinking the same thing as I read it. Cheat on your spouse if you REALLY care! Nice.
11:41 AM on 02/27/2011
Everyone has their opinion on this topic, but the truth, if there is one, is not simple.
My bullet points, aimed mainly at fellow commenters:
- obviously, Biderman is about the money, not ideals. His business model is genius.
- too many commenters, and the public at large are too quick to chastise "men having affairs" and ignore the role of the female adulterer. I have met many. This is one of those gender roles that has changed, just like women in the workplace. Some are really playing the field.
I have connected with women on AM, and another paid site that offers the same service. Notice I said "connected" - not had an affair with. We have generally simply commiserated and shared frustrations because I am not looking for mindless, dangerous sex and the women I've met online just haven't worked out. That's fine. It is cathartic.
My point is don't be so quick to judge. I have talked to my wife about what is lacking in our physical relationship. She cares, I care, but it hasn't changed. I would never leave our marriage just for sex, but I refuse to abandon my strong sexual needs. So yes, I am currently having an affair, with someone I met in the real world. It is insanely passionate. I am still present for my wife who has commented gladly on how happy I seem to be lately.
Religious morality aside, "we" are not all abusers, nor are we necessarily bad people.
12:36 AM on 02/28/2011
That's just so sweet, you are boinking someone else and it has made your wife happy...but you are still a LIAR and I promise you your wife will NOT be happy when she finds out.
09:25 AM on 02/28/2011
how very insightful of you.
10:14 AM on 02/27/2011
I believe people may tell themselves that their affair strengthened their marriage as a way to feel less guilt for the betrayal.
11:50 AM on 02/27/2011
I think you're right. Guilt is inherent, and one tends to rationalize it. Perhaps the affair isn't "strengthening" the marriage, but what if it is providing an absolute essential that is not otherwise being met? Could that ever be legitimate? If a woman loves her husband and family, but he is no longer interested in the sexual intimacy that she CRAVES...is it better just to divorce and lose the life partner in the process?
03:14 PM on 02/27/2011
That's the whole point though. He said in the interview that marriage is a lot more then sex. Don't you think you'd feel a lot more guilt over uprooting the lives of your entire family just because one (or both) partners aren't getting laid properly? I know I would.

I have a hard time following the logic that affairs strengthen marriage too, but just because I don't understand it doesn't mean its wrong.

And your capitalization of the word "craves" kinda weirds me out.
07:00 PM on 02/27/2011
Unless there is an agreement to have an open marriage, it is a betrayal quite simply. The deception is damaging no matter how you rationalize it.

If you do not want to be monogamous, that is fine. But be honest about it, and do not pretend you are lying to your spouse for the good of your marriage.
09:53 AM on 02/27/2011
Every time my ex had an affair, he'd treat me like dirt. He'd pick fights over nothing in order to justify his cheating. I knew most of his paramours; they were invariably married women, and he had a perverse desire to have both couples socialize together. I guess he thought it was a good smoke-screen. When he wasn't involved with someone else, he was very attentive and considerate, for the most part. It took a long time for me to figure it out; when I finally had enough and walked out, he was devastated. I now have a wonderful husband who believes in fidelity and it's SOOOO much better!!!
Don't tell me that adultery can save a marriage.
08:30 AM on 02/27/2011
For a guy who goes on and on defending his cheating business I've never seen another guy switch gears so fast when it comes to describing and upholding the sanctity of his own marriage and personal experience. Sounds like another NIMBY with a chauvanist complex. My money is on the old adage "those who live by the 'sword' die by the 'sword'"....